Center for Global Development. May 16, 2013.
Do immigrants create jobs or take jobs away? This report answers this question for one important sector of the American economy, agriculture, by looking at the case of North Carolina farms. Analyzing data from North Carolina farms, the report shows that foreign agriculture workers fill jobs that native workers will not, and that by filling these jobs, foreign workers benefit North Carolina’s economy and create jobs for Americans. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
http://www.cgdev.org/sites/default/files/international-harvest.pdf [PDF format, 36 pages].
Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. April 22, 2013.
Drought is a natural hazard with often significant societal, economic, and environmental consequences. Public policy issues related to drought range from how to identify and measure drought to how best to prepare for, mitigate, and respond to drought impacts, and who should bear associated costs. Severe drought in 2011 and 2012 fueled congressional interest in near-term issues, such as current (and recently expired) federal programs and their funding, and long-term issues, such as drought forecasting and various federal drought relief and mitigation actions. Continuing drought conditions throughout the country contribute to ongoing interest in federal drought policies and responses.
http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RL34580.pdf [PDF format, 36 pages].
Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. March 12, 2013.
The 113th Congress will likely consider reauthorization of the 2008 farm bill and may reconsider proposals debated in the 112th Congress to address expiring farm bill provisions, including provisions that either directly or indirectly support local food systems. Although the 2008 farm bill contained few specific programs that directly support local and regional food systems, many community and farm advocacy groups have been arguing that such food systems should play a larger policy role within the next farm bill, and that laws should be modified to reflect broader, more equitable policies across a range of production systems, including local food systems. The 112th Congress introduced legislation, including several comprehensive marker bills, which would have expanded the benefits for local and regional food systems. These issues may continue to be of interest in the 113th Congress.
http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R42155.pdf [PDF format, 65 pages].
Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. March 11, 2013.
The desire by many to redesign farm policy and reallocate the remaining farm bill baseline, in a sequestration and deficit reduction environment, is driving much of the farm bill debate this year. Several high-profile congressional and Administration proposals for deficit reduction have specifically targeted agricultural programs with mandatory funding. The political dynamics of sequestration and broader deficit reduction goals leave open difficult questions about how much and when the farm bill baseline may be reduced. In this context, Congress faces difficult choices about how much total support to provide for agriculture, and how to allocate that support among competing constituencies.
http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R42484.pdf [PDF format, 33 pages].
Congressional Research Service. November 14, 2012.
The use of biomass as an energy feedstock is emerging as a potentially viable alternative to address U.S. energy security concerns, foreign oil dependence, rural economic development, and diminishing sources of conventional energy. Biomass (organic matter that can be converted into energy) may include food crops, crops for energy (e.g., switchgrass or prairie perennials), crop residues, wood waste and byproducts, and animal manure. Most legislation involving biomass has focused on encouraging the production of liquid fuels from corn. Efforts to promote the use of biomass for power generation have focused on wood, wood residues, and milling waste.
http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R40529.pdf [PDF format, 20 pages].